August 2007

August 2007

Dear Friend,

Thankful! Encouraged! Challenged!

THANKFUL! I am thankful for the past 27 years working with Christian lawyers. I have written about 300 monthly letters since my first in August 1980 when I wrote to a small group of friends in Southern California sharing our plans to move fromLos Angeles to Northern Virginia to plant the flag for Christian Legal Society in Washington,DC. I had responded to a July 1980 ad in the Christian Legal Society Quarterly to be the first director of their Center for Law & Religious Freedom. The ad offered a “nominal token salary” noting that the applicant might need to “be in a position to raise funds for their own support for the foreseeable future.” The “foreseeable future” is now in its 27th year.

ENCOURAGED! I am encouraged! It’s been an incredible adventure! From time to time I reread newsletters written for Advocates International since 1991. I am reminded of the mighty deeds that our Lord performs when lawyers make him their Client.

CHALLENGED! I am also challenged daily! I’ve enclosed this week’s Global Prayer Calendar. The PC serves as the glue that keeps our network together. Advocates’ PC is prayerfully correct. Each continent has its own PC, and the global edition passes on some items. As you read about the prayer needs this week from Albania , Azerbaijan , Bulgaria , Burkina Faso , Pakistan , Sierra Leone and Uzbekistan , you will see what typically comes to our attention at the home office daily.

ANSWERED PRAYER! I have some good news on the lead item about Latcho Popov, the Chairman of the Rule of Law Institute in Bulgaria and the President of Advocates Europe. I spoke to Latcho this morning, and he told me that the tennis-ball size tumor that was removed from his knee was benign. We thank the Great Physician for his answer before we prayed!

HEALTH UPDATE: Finally, I have a personal prayer item. Last Friday I discovered new bladder cancer growth that requires surgery on October 8. My cancer His-Story enters its 9th year this month. God has been gracious. Although I had hoped to attend many of the regional conferences listed on the back, other Board members will cover for me in Advocates Middle East, Advocates Africa, Advocates Asia and Advocates Latin America. I appreciate your prayers to the Great Physician, while…

Living in His-Story,

Sam Ericsson


An Invitation to Attend a 2007 Advocates Conference
While also Being a Good Samaritan

It’s time to redefine “short-term missions.” You are invited to attend any of the inspirational 2007 conferences in Advocates International’s network. The cost for hotel plus program for the 3-day conferences outside North America will be $300-400 per person. In the Good Samaritan story, the Samaritan enabled another person to travel and stay at the inn. We invite you to attend a life-changing event and also enable someone else to do so. You may build relationships to last a lifetime. English is the primary language at the conferences except in Latin America where some translators will be available. See you there!

Advocates Europe

Regional leadership meeting; May 19-20, London, England

Advocates Caribbean

1st Advocates Caribbean Conference; July 27-29, Tobago
Theme: Uniting to Impact
“Father, make them one as we are one... that the world may believe..." John 17:21
Contact: Alice Soohon (

Advocates Middle East

August 23-25, Amman, Jordan
Contact: Botrus Mansour (

Advocates Africa

7th Regional Conference; September 3-7, Mombasa, Kenya
Theme: Time to Fly: Unleashing Africa’s Potential: “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 13:30
Contact: Bayo Akinlade (


Annual Christian Lawyers Fellowship National Conference; September 27-30, Mississauga, Ontario
Theme: Above All, To Stand
Contact: Ruth Ross (

Advocates Asia

7th Regional Conference; October 18-20, Sri Lanka
Contact: Roshini Wickremesinhe (

Advocates Latin America

7th Regional Conference; October 25-28, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Theme: The Challenge of Social Justice in Latin America
Master’s module pre-conference: October 22-25, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Contact: Vilma Balmaceda (


Annual CLS National Conference; November 1-4, Destin, Florida
Theme: Breaking the Mold: Being True-Faced in a False-Faced World


August 5-11, 2007

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

“May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations of the earth.”
Psalm 67:3-4

Be fervent in your prayer and stay blessed,


Advocates Europe Prayer Calendar - Bulgaria
Sunday, August 5

Dani Bohotska, Advocates Europe Prayer Calendar coordinator:

“Please pray for the surgery of Latchezar Popov ( Bulgaria ), Advocates Europe and RLI President, that has been scheduled for August 2. The surgery was on his knee. May the Great Physician guide the operation and the recovery be quick.”

Advocates Europe Prayer Calendar - Albania
Monday, August 6

Gesina Blaaw from God loves Albania Ministries asks for our prayers for their Ministries. She writes:

“Urgent at this moment is that together with our national board and senior management team of God Loves Albania Ministries, we are making some drastic changes in our infrastructure. This means that some people will loose their jobs or will receive a different position, and it won’t be pleasant for me to give out those communications, neither will it be nice for them to receive the news. Please pray for grace in these communications and that all persons concerned will receive the news without rebellion or a spirit of revenge, which characterizes Albania. Also, our financial situation needs prayer as we have never been so low on finances and are in bad need for sponsors of this ministry to the disabled in Albania as well as to spread the Gospel in remote areas of Albania.”

Prayer Request from Pakistan
Tuesday, August 7

Mr. Joseph Francis, National Director of the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement (CLAAS), sends us an initial report on the brutal murder of Sadiq Masih, a Christian man and a father of six children. At the end of the report Aneeqa writes:

“May God be with the miserable and poor people. Today we at CLAAS are praying for the deceased and his family; we also request all of you to pray for them and give them courage to face the hardships of life, which they are already facing as part of their fate. We also request you to pray for CLAAS and its team members, who are always willing to face any sort of threats in order to help the downtrodden. We always need your prayers for us to continue our difficult task in such a country where there are no rights for Christians, neither towards happiness, nor towards peace and freedom.”

Advocates Asia Prayer Calendar - Uzbekistan
Wednesday, August 8

Gregory Vijayendran, coordinator of the Advocates Asia Prayer Calendar, writes:

“Worthy News reports that two members of God's Love Pentecostal Church spent ten days in prison in June after being found guilty of violating laws on religion and ‘illegal’ religious teaching... In a separate case, 28-year-old Baptist Sharofat Allamova was detained for four days in mid-June after Christian books and films were found in her bag on a late-night bus from the central city of Samarkand [Samarqand] to her home town of Urgench [Urganch]. She now faces criminal prosecution on charges of ‘violating the law on religious organizations.’ She is currently at home awaiting further action against her with a maximum sentence if convicted of three years' imprisonment. Allamova had already faced pressure from the authorities in Urgench for her involvement in church activity. In June 2004 she was summoned by the Khorezm Regional National Security Service (NSS) secret police, where she was interrogated and threatened. One officer jeered at her for maintaining her Christian faith. Continue to pray for the critical situation in Uzbekistan that may become the start of a downward spiral of persecution against Protestant Christians... Pray that despite the harsh situations of prison, Christians will continue to exemplify the love of God through consistent love and prayer for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:43-48).”

Prayer Request from Azerbaijan
Thursday, August 9

The newsletter of Jubilee Campaign, U.S.A. (Executive Director Ann Buwalda) sent on August 2, 2007, reads as follows:

“Several weeks ago, a case against a pastor in Azerbaijan, Zaur Balaev, was brought to our attention. Yesterday, we received an update from the lawyer who is working on the case asking us to pray for Pastor Zaur. He wrote: ‘Hello dear friends, I want to inform you that Pastor Zaur's court case is continuing. As all of you know, the public prosecutor said that pastor Zaur must be imprisoned for 2 years and 7 months (31 months), but the defense lawyer gave his opinion that Pastor Zaur should be set free. Today, the judge should have announced his decision, but the court session is not being held. We do not know the reason for this. We believe the judge hasn't given his decision because of your prayers. God is giving the judge additional time to think about Pastor Zaur's case. Please keep Pastor Zaur in your prayers. Blessings.’ We are deeply concerned about Pastor Zaur and the state of religious freedom in Azerbaijan. Will you join us in praying for his immediate and unconditional release from prison?”

Advocates Africa – Report on Burkina Faso
Friday, August 10

Pray for Burkina Faso, as you read part of the report by Bayo Akinlade, Africa Liaison for Advocates International, after his visit to eight countries in West Africa:

“Since 2004, we have had 2 major contacts in Burkina. Paul Dipama and Dieudonne have been instrumental in speaking to lawyers, judges and law students about organising a fellowship. However, the major challenge as expressed by some lawyers here is the division between churches, which impacts negatively on having a non-denominational Christian lawyers’ fellowship. We met with 4 lawyers, 2 law students and one magistrate/ judge during our four-day visit. They were all very encouraged by our visit.”

Elections in Sierra Leone
Saturday, August 11

Last week the following prayer request came from Ibrahim S. Koroma (Sierra Leone):

Sierra Leone is holding presidential and parliamentary elections on the 11th of August. Political party supporters are already making the elections fearsome. Activists are attacking each other. This morning (July 23), the national radio announced an assassination attempt on the presidential candidate of the All People's Congress {APC} party yesterday in the town of Kenema. Two people are in hospital including a former minister of Mineral Resources under the military regime Tom Nyuma. Tom Nyuma is a supporter of the Sierra Leone People's Party. Pray for Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leoneans. This country emerged in 2002 from 11 years of brutal civil conflict, and the population is still recovering from the horror of that carnage. Pray for the leadership of this country and the leadership of the different political parties.”